Why PDP lost Ekiti governorship election
By Tunde Joshua, Abuja
Leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have been fingered as being responsible for its failure to win the Ekiti governorship election held last Saturday.
The PDP’s candidate Olabisi Kolawole came third scoring 67,457 votes behind Biodun Oyebanji of the All Progressives Congress (APC ) who won the election with 187,057 votes and Segun Oni of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) who got 82,211 votes.
As expected of the national body of a political party to stage a campaign in support of its candidate, PDP leadership abandoned Kolawole at the needed period.
The party constituted a bogus national campaign council for the Ekiti governorship election nine days to the poll but never inaugurated the commit- tee members.
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Neither did the party fund the Ekiti campaign. Infact, the party leadership was not at any time on ground in Ekiti to campaign for Kolawole. Chairman of the aborted campaign council, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State is also one of Wike’s allies in the PDP Governor’s’ Forum.
He was said to have travelled overseas when the national assignment he supposed to superintended was going on. The Trumpet attributed this to the unsettled crisis consequent upon the last national convention which produced Atiku Abubakar as presidential candidate, The Trumpet gathered.
Kolawole unfortunately suffered the rift created by the convention between the Atiku and Nyeson Wike camp within the party’s National Working Committee.
Recall that former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose openly identified with Wike ahead of the presidential primary and went ahead to deliver the entire Ekiti delegates votes to the Rivers governor.
The Trumpet learnt that the anti- Wike forces within the NWC which include the national chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu saw the Ekiti election preparation as opportunity to get at Fayose who is the sole promoter of Kolawole. The immediate past deputy National Publicity Secretary of the party, Prince Diran Odeyemi put the blames for the party’s failure on Atiku Abubakar and the national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu.
Odeyemi who lamented the unexpected low performance of PDP can- didate, Kolawole berated governors of the party for abandoning the candidate as well as teeming party members before and during the poll.
In a statement signed and made available to our correspondent, Odeyemi said Ayu, PDP governors including Atiku’s absence in Ekiti before the election to campaign for Kolawole before the poll, created negative perception problem and contributed significantly to the party’s poor outing in the election. “Atiku, Ayu and PDP governors left the people of Ekiti, majority of whom support PDP in the cold.
They looked up to these personalities but they never showed up before or during the poll. “Atiku, Ayu and PDP governors left the people of Ekiti, majority of whom support PDP in the cold. They looked up to these personalities but they never showed up before or during the poll.
“The National Campaign council constituted by Ayu was put in place just four days before the poll and no member of the committee showed up in the state whereas APC presidential candidate, Senator Bola Tinubu the entire NWC of APC and some Governors were in Ekiti campaigning for Biodun Oyebanji.
Nothing of such happened under Ayu-led PDP national working committee, this is sad. He challenged the leaders to be committed to PDP winning Osun poll to save the party from extinction in 2023.
“Now that the chances of PDP retaining Ekiti has been thrown out by the Ayu-led national leadership of the PDP, we need to remind Atiku, Ayu, and other leaders of PDP that the fate of our party in 2023 election now rest on the outcome of Osun poll, they must do all want they can to ensure victory to our candidate Sen Nurudeen Ademola Adeleke,” Odeyemi declared.
One of the founding fathers of PDP, High Chief Tom Ikimi largely blamed Fayose largely for PDP misfortune in Ekiti. He said the non- inclusive politics being played by Fayose has cost the PDP chances of winning election twice in Ekiti State. The former Foreign Affairs minister in a reaction to the Ekiti election said “am not afraid to say that our problem in Ekiti have been caused by the activities of our immediate past governor, Fayose.”
He said ruin Ekiti PDP when he left office. He said in 2018 instead for Fayose to allow the will of the majority, he insisted in foisting his deputy then (Olusola Eleka) on the party against persuasion to let the party field aote acceptable candidate.
This action of Fayose, he said led to the defeat of PDP by the incumbent Kayode Fayemi. Ahead of the last election, Chief Ikimi said “the build up to the choice of candidate in Ekiti was a big struggle.
All kinds of meetings, peace talks and interventions were made until they put away Segun Oni who went to SDP and the outcome is clear”.